the Story Tellers
A very special project by Viktorija Bowers Adams and Michael David Adams,
whose work can also be seen at MichaelandViktorija.com
16 years ago, in the fall of 2001, two former goth kids met in a coffee shop to discuss collaborations on future work.
One a photographer and the other a makeup artist…
Within short time, they realized that they had the same goals in life and that they aspired to similar aesthetics of beauty and imagery. Through their years together, they would come to work on many projects as a team, and although they have similar visual tastes, their individuality has always remained intact.
They have continually raised the bar for each other consequently pushing their creative expressions higher and higher while supporting each other. In the creative industry they are often referred to as one of NYC’s power couples…
With The Story Tellers, they further explore the stories that have been read to them as children, the stories that have shaped their lives or helped them get through difficult times and the stories yet to be told. As Story Tellers themselves, they will also share the narratives that they have created in their own minds…
After 16 years, they understand that it was work that brought them together, and it is their imaginations that fuse them forever… so many more stories lie in wait….
They would like to share them with you…..
Welcome to “the Story Tellers” ..
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Written by Marijana Marinovic
Photography by Sunay Tamashev, Kris Atendido Lebeouf, Bri Johnson, Richard Warren, Michael David Adams, Amanda Pratt and Andrea Barbe.
– The American Photographer and his Makeup Artist wife who originates from the Croatian City of Omis are a perfect couple:
He photographs and she does makeup for some of the strongest worldwide fashion magazines, and they will demonstrate some of the secrets of their success at the upcoming PhotoDays Festival in Rovinj, Croatia..
“I am so happy that I will photograph in Rovinj and that I will, once again, get to visit the beautiful home country of my wife” says the American photographer Michael David Adams.
He will lead the workshop about fashion photography on 7th through 9th of June, in Rovinj. Along with this MasterClass, will be their photo shoots for the Croatian fashion magazine, GloriaGlam, for which his wife, Viktorija Bowers-Adams who is a makeup artist originally from Dalmatia, will help him. She is the guilty party for why this American photographer, whose work has been published in Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Vogue, Marie Claire, Vanity Fair, among others, is so in love with Croatia. The whole winter, he was trying to convince his wife that they should escape from NYC and go to the Adriatic Coast, so the invitation from Denis Redic, the organizer of Rovinj PhotoDays, came like a gift.
“After we visited Zagreb, Omis and Dubrovnik, Michael said that he would love very much to live here in Croatia. But since those are not our plans right now, he expressed the wish to at least shoot in Croatia often.” says Viktorija, who in 1996 has began her Makeup Artist career in America. She began the art of makeup with M.A.C Cosmetics, and in 2001 after meeting Michael, she became a freelancer where she freelanced for CNN in America as one of her many jobs. “At CNN, I often worked night shift, and had the pleasure to do makeup on the TV host Anderson Cooper, who is really nice. He’s a little shy, and we often talked about movies. I met countless famous people who were guests at CNN, such as actor John Cleese, Anna Paquin, Courtney Thorne-Smith, etc. Lots of times I did Makeup for Larry King, with whom I also journeyed to the Syrian embassy for the famous Muammar Gaddafi interview. I was supposed to do Muammar Gaddafi’s Makeup as well, but we were not allowed to approach him, or even touch him.” remembers Viktorija whose maiden name was Badac. She grew up in Omis Croatia, and in her childhood had dreams of becoming an actress when she grew up. After graduating from the School of Economy in Split, she moved to Zagreb where she started working as a translator for the U.N. There, she met her first husband, Paul Bowers, who worked in the US Navy.
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They got married in 1996 in Omis, and moved to the US into a small town of Wilmington, North Carolina. Paul worked as a land surveyor while Viktorija worked as a sales associate in a local Art Supplies store. “We wanted a quite life, but destiny threw us a curveball. Paul passed away in 1999 after complications from a motorcycle accident and I, after dealing with the situation the best I could, had decided to attempt a fresh start and moved to Atlanta” says Viktorija.
While working on her portfolio for Makeup in 2001, she met Michael. “Viktorija contacted me via the internet and offered collaboration with me. It was love at first sight when i saw her in the coffee shop. She was wearing black leather, with closely shaved purple hair. She looked like the most beautiful Gothic Princess. I knew this was the woman i wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Later on she confessed to me that i was her “dream come true” as well. She confessed that she wanted to meet an artist who was tall, bald, had tattoos and piercings. We are truly kindred spirits. We fulfill each other both creatively and emotionally which makes us function beautifully together, even in the world of business.” says Michael, who was born on the military base of Langley Virginia, where his father was a Military Engineer, and his mother was a teacher.
He grew up in the small town of Bethlehem Pa, approximately and hours drive from New York City. In his childhood he exhibited a gift for music and played the Clarinet and the Saxophone in the school orchestras and bands. In his 20’s he fell in love with photography and took a few courses. He started collaborating with local modeling agencies to do model tests, and began his transition to be a Fashion Photography, highly admiring the work of such photographers as Patrick Demarchelier, Herb Ritts, and Stephen Klein.
2nd Wedding Anniversary.
The first full joint photo shoot for Michael and Viktorija was a fashion editorial for an Atlanta based magazine, called “Fierce”. But soon after this, they had decided to find their place in the fashion scene of New York City. “We started from nothing. We photographed models in a tiny little apartment in Astoria, Queens. Our first lucky break came with the cover of CITY Magazine where we transformed the Russian model Masha Sitnikova into Marilyn Manson. That opened lots of doors for us.” says Viktorija. She did makeup for many different Fashion Weeks, including designers like Marc Jacobs, as well as campaigns for Anne Klein, Avon, Neimann Marcus, Macy’s, Mabeline, and Garnier, as well as numerous editorials for magazines like Elle, Harper’s bazaar, Glamour and Cosmopolitan, as well as Stars like Sting, Seal, Heidi Klum, among others..
In the fashion circles, people recognize her a lot for her unique engagement ring, which has become an icon, it’s a very limited edition silver skull of a raven. Her and her husband work together a lot, and their peers find them a perfect couple.. While visiting Croatia, they will be celebrating their 2nd year wedding anniversary. “We got married on Michael’s birthday, the 28th of June, on a private Yacht which cruised around Manhattan and they said “I Do” under the Statue of Liberty. I wore a purple wedding gown designed by my best friend, French costume designer Rosalida Medina, who also became ordained by NYC and certified in order to be the one to marry us.
Mtv Russia even did a segment about our engagement” says Viktorija.
Michael and Viktorija like to spend their free time visiting art exhibits and attending industry parties, but they are the most in their element when they are creating something. Viktorija likes to do traditional paintings of fairy tales that her mother Radmila used to read to her before bedtime.
Michael still enjoys music, and is also a Black Belt in the martial arts, as well as being a photographer. He feels he is driven to capture the beauty that he sees everywhere equally in nature and in the female form…
Here is a look at our other work…
Viktorija was born and raised on the beautiful Dalmatian Coast of Croatia. She is the only child of a single mother who is also a hairstylist. She would read to her every night before bedtime, helping her develop her imagination and lean toward more artistic expression. Growing up in the hair salon gave Viktorija a glimpse of the rituals of beauty and the emotional and visual impact they had on the subject. Naturally when she grew up, she continued her mothers beauty tradition by becoming a successful make up artist.
After meeting Michael, with whose guidance she learned to paint, Viktorija has found another gift of self expression. In her paintings, Oils, Watercolor, and Mixed Media, she is able to look back into those loving bedtime stories that her mother gifted her with and capture them on canvas. Being able to fuse her love of make up and painting into project that is all about story telling is her dream come true.
Work and Awards:
Magazines: ELLE, Vogue, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar,CITY,
Make Up For Ever: Featured Artist 2014
Make Up For Ever: MasterClass 2013
Tweezerman OnAir Specialist 2013
TBS Movie and MakeOver OnAir specialist 2004-5
Fine Art of Michael David Adams
Michael, originally from the picturesque town of Bethlehem PA, has been creating art since he could pick up a pencil. Around the age of 12 he began painting with Oils and Water Colors. His Oil painting continued throughout his formative years and also developed into multi-media art, adding acrylics to his repertoire and wire sculpture to create some hybrid paintings with 3 Dimensional accents..
Throughout all of this time, he was always taking photographs, much like anyone else.. But he realized in his late teens that his eye for composition, and ability to capture more than those 1,000 words into a single photograph would pave his way for his career as a photographer.. and here we are..
Work and Awards:
Magazines: Glamour, ELLE, Vogue, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, CITY, and many more..
– Applied Arts Magazine Photography Competition 2014 – Fashion Category, Single image
– Applied Arts Magazine Photography Competition 2014 – Fashion Category, Series
– Applied Arts Magazine Photography Competition 2014 – Photo-manipulation Category, Series
– PhotoDays MasterClass, Rovinj Croatia 2013